Entrepreneurs from the vicinity of Kuźnica, previously covered by the state of emergency, and now a no-stay zone, are asking for government help. As they say, the businesses of many of them have collapsed due to the crisis on the border with Belarus. – We want someone to hear us because we are in a very difficult situation. Our businesses have stopped, we have no source of income – they emphasize.
A state of emergency was in force since September 2, due to migratory pressure in the border zone with Belarus. It was introduced for 30 days under the ordinance of President Andrzej Duda issued at the request of the Council of Ministers. The Sejm agreed to extension of the state of emergency until November 30.
However, from December 1 to March 1, under the regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Mariusz Kamiński in the area it is forbidden to stay at the border with Belarus. It covers 115 towns of the Podlaskie Voivodeship and 68 towns of the Lubelskie Voivodeship. This means – as in the conditions of the previously applicable state of emergency – that journalists, among others, are not allowed free access to the banned border zone. The media may enter this area only with the assistance of the Border Guard, after obtaining consent from the Border Guard headquarters.
During one of such visits – on Monday evening – TVN24 journalists met with a group of entrepreneurs from Kuźnica, whose activities suffered as a result of the crisis on the border.
Entrepreneurs from the border are complaining. “We have virtually zero turnover”
– We want someone to hear us, because we are in a very difficult situation – said one of the women interviewed by journalists. – We don’t know what to do at this point. Our activities, which are in the area of the border crossing and at the border crossing, have stopped. We have no source of income, she complained.
Entrepreneurs emphasize that many entities were left without any government assistance, including currency exchange offices, inns, shops and customs agencies.
– At the moment, our turnover is practically zero, and we have to pay the employees normally. We also have goods in a store that has an expiry date there, and all this is standing and waiting, and we do not know how long it will take, how to continue stocking – said the owner of the border store.
– We wrote a letter to the Chancellery [Prezesa Rady Ministrów – przyp. red.] to extend the law on compensation to other industries. We have no idea whether it will be included at all – said another woman from the group of entrepreneurs suffering from problems after the introduction of the state of emergency and then the ban on staying in the border area.
The Act on Compensation for Entrepreneurs
At the end of September, an act was passed under which companies operating in the hotel, catering or tourist industry may apply for compensation in the amount of 65 percent of the average monthly income from their operations in the area covered by the state of emergency. The calculations are based on June, July and August 2021.
In mid-November, the Podlaski Voivodship Office informed that entities applying for compensation show income from months which are the basis for calculating the compensation. According to the regulations, if the compensation amount is to exceed PLN 65,000, the data is verified during obligatory inspections. The Office announced that the largest compensation granted so far was over PLN 313,000.
By mid-November, 83 companies had applied for such compensation. They were awarded in 51 cases.
READ THE TVN24.PL REPORT: The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border >>>
Main photo source: TVN24